Additional security forces will deploy into Hela province following a series of tribal killings from Saturday, July 6, through Monday, July 8. At least 24 people, including women and children, died in attacks on the villages of Munima and Karida. Prime Minister James Marape issued a statement on Wednesday, July 10, vowing to capture those responsible for the attacks and promising to send more security personnel into the region. Specific details have not been released as of Wednesday morning (local time), however, a heightened security presence is expected in the province in the coming days. Further revenge attacks are also possible in the near term.
Violence between rival tribes is not uncommon in Papua New Guinea’s highlands. According to Prime Minister Marape, the attacks on July 6-8 involved the Haguai, Liwi, and Okiru communities. It is unclear what caused the most recent round of violence.
Individuals in Hela province, and Papua New Guinea more generally, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate a heightened security presence, remain vigilant for criminal activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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